Under the law, both mothers and fathers have equal rights to their children. Child custody and other issues related to children are decided based on the best interest of the child, and the law is not supposed to give either parent an advantage based on their gender. Furthermore, children tend to thrive when they have the active involvement of both parents in their lives.
Today’s fathers are often as active in caring for their children as mothers, and sometimes more so. But for much of history, mothers were the primary or exclusive caregivers for children. It can be difficult for fathers to overcome the bias that many people—including judges—have in favor of mothers. That can have negative long-term consequences for both fathers and their children.
At the Law Offices of Andreas Vasilatos, PLLC, we have great respect for all parents who work every day to nurture and raise their children. We are committed to ensuring that fathers and children have the opportunity to have the fullest relationship possible.
There are a number of legal issues for which fathers in New York should have experienced legal representation to protect their rights, including:
Establishing paternity creates the legal status of being a father. New York law presumes that a man is the legal father of a child born to his wife. If a father and mother are not married to one another at the time of the child’s birth, paternity must be established in order to create a legal relationship between father and child. This can be done by both parents signing a voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity or by one parent filing a petition to establish paternity with the family court.
Establishing paternity allows a father to seek custody and visitation and obligates him to financially support his child. It also allows fathers and children to inherit from each other under state law, and for children to be entitled to government benefits through their father.
New York State law requires that child custody and visitation be determined by considering “the best interests of the child.” There are numerous factors that must be taken into account, including which parent has been the child’s primary caregiver, the parenting skills of each parent, the mental and physical health of the parents, and each parent’s ability to cooperate with the other parent, among others. The “best interest” standard is highly fact-dependent, and it is critical to have an attorney who understands what evidence must be put before the court. Child custody and visitation orders can be modified, but it can be difficult and costly to do so; it is much better to ensure a fair custody arrangement is reached in the first place.
Fathers who have been granted primary custody of their children are entitled to receive child support from the other parent. The amount of child support is calculated based on the parents’ income and the number of children in the family.
An experienced family law attorney can help ensure that child support calculations are accurate so that fathers have the resources they need to provide their children with food, shelter, medical care, and other necessities.
In most cases, it is best for children to have a strong relationship with both parents, and New York prefers that co-parents cooperate with one another in raising their child. Unfortunately, in some cases, a parent manipulates their child into believing that the other parent does not love them or has even abused them. This is called parental alienation, and it can destroy a child’s relationship with the parent who is the target of the alienation.
Parental alienation creates a vicious cycle in which the child is manipulated to avoid the target parent, which weakens their relationship, making the child even less likely to want to see that parent. If you suspect that your co-parent is trying to alienate your child from you, get legal help immediately to interrupt this cycle.
When a father is deprived of his parental rights, it doesn’t only hurt him; it can cause irreparable harm to his children as well. Unfortunately, fathers often have to go to court to ensure that they and their children are protected. Unlike many family law attorneys, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Andreas Vasilatos, PLLC are seasoned courtroom attorneys with extensive litigation experience. They have successfully represented fathers in many child custody, support, paternity, and parental alienation cases.
The Law Offices of Andreas Vasilatos, PLLC has two convenient locations: in Bayside, Queens and at 7 World Trade Center in Manhattan, and serves clients in all five boroughs of New York City as well as Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. We invite you to learn more about our firm and our team, and to contact us to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you.